Anneke Louise (MSc, C-IAYT)
Interoception, Emotional Intelligence & True Wisdom
Updated: May 19, 2022
What if I were to tell you that working with the Fascia can not only help you to move more smartly, but also help you to FEEL more smartly? And that the heartbeat gives us one of the best ways to train this? Let’s explore this!
IQ vs EQ
Remember the time when human intelligence was assessed solely on the basis of our intellect? Derived from a series of mental tests undertaken, we receive a number, our so-called IQ, which is a way to assess our cognitive abilities. A much loved concept by recruiters and educational institutions..as you may have experienced.
It was only in the late 20th century, that a deeper form of human intelligence was coined: emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence (or EQ) according to its very first description (by Salavoy & Mayer in 1990) is “a form of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and action”
A shorter version of this would be ‘the ability to feel more smartly’, giving us evidence that the body is not just mind, but also emotion.
Is EQ something we can improve? Can emotional intelligence actually be trained? YES it can.
Where we can improve our IQ by training our mind, the answer to increased EQ actually lies under our very own skin...In our Fascia!
Through the concept of interoception - the ability to feel our ‘inner’ environment - we can train our emotional intelligence becoming more aware of our feelings, emotions and essentially any of the signals our body is giving us. And as most of our so called ‘interoceptors’ are located in the Fascia, it is exactly there that we want to be bringing the change. (To better understand the biological connection between Fascia and interoception, check this)
Researchers discovered that one of the best ways to train our interoception is through working with heartbeat perception.
This, as heartbeats are distinct and frequent internal events that can be easily discriminated and measured. And the research has gone even further:
Over the years these “Heartbeat Tracking” training methods have been employed across research to show that increased interoception support amongst others: substance use disorder treatments (Price et al, 2018), improving chronic pain syndromes (Tsay et al, 2015), improve memory (Werner et al, 2010) and even decision making (Sugawara et al, 2020).
So could we say that actually having a better EQ will be able to positively influence our IQ or cognitive ability?
If I feel into this myself then most definitely YES. There is an intellectual mind that can think, but there is also a level of wisdom that goes beyond the mind. That wisdom that seems to come from deep within, being able to FEEL that something is the right thing to do. Being in touch with as many 'levels' of myself (not just the mind and it's filters) hence seems to be an important way to make a decision which is fully aligned and in harmony with all aspects.
Happy to hear your thoughts, comments and experiences regarding these topics :)